interrupting work calls

Guy Asks What To Do About Girlfriend Who Won’t Stop Interrupting His Work Calls By Screaming

With romantic relationships accelerating due to quarantine move-ins, we’ve been seeing a ton of issues that are related to cohabitating but are also about something more. For example, one Reddit poster recently asked for advice on how to react to his girlfriend not respecting his space while he is at work. The OP lashed out at the girlfriend by saying the space she has moved into is ultimately not her home, causing her to become upset. However, as with many of these conflicts, there are larger issues. 

“My girlfriend Jasmine and I are both 26. Will be together for 2 years in July. We don’t live together; however she moved in with me to quarantine,” the OP writes. “This is week 8 of Jasmine living in my apartment with me. We had originally looked at it as a trial period for actually living together.” 

“I’ve been working from home, Jasmine hasn’t worked in almost a year, however her father pays her rent and I pretty much pay for everything else she needs,” the OP adds. Basically, the OP says that before the pandemic, Jasmine kept busy with yoga classes and other random stuff. But now, she’s bored and mostly does FaceTime with college friends, smokes weed, and makes noise while the OP tries to work. 

“Today I had an important call. I told Jasmine about it, told her on Monday that it would be on Wednesday at 3pm and practically begged her multiple times to be quiet during it because she usually isn’t. She promised me she would stay in the living room,” the OP explains. “So you can imagine how intensely irritated I was when she interrupted my call by coming into the bedroom and loudly screaming into the air that she’s bored… I’m embarrassed that my girlfriend interrupted such an important call in such an unreasonable way.”

While being jobless during a pandemic can be frightening if you’re supporting yourself, Jasmine apparently doesn’t need the money. So, it sounds like Jasmine needs to grow the f*** up and find an indoor hobby.

But the situation gets more complicated. 

The OP says the two of them sat down to speak about the incident later in the day. Jasmine said that since she’s staying at the OP’s place, that it’s become her home too, and she won’t be silenced all day. 

“I told her that her staying with me during a pandemic does not mean that my apartment is her home. I pointed out the fact that it is my name on the lease and it is me who pays the bills. I told her that if she wants to stay in my home she has to let me work so I can afford to live and provide for us both or else she has to leave.” 

Jasmine was really hurt by the OP’s assertion that his home was not her home and has now brought it up many times and cries when referring to the conversation. 

“At this point I don’t know what to do,” the OP explained. “When you work your ass off to support a person who doesn’t support your work it feels like a huge slap in the face…I don’t know if I should feel like an asshole for shushing her all day but I feel like she’s put me in a really tough position.” 

Look, we are all dealing with work and relationship conflicts in the best way we can. Peoples’ emotions are frayed. Some are stressed. Some are bored. Some are both. Quarantining with a person who doesn’t have any professional responsibilities when you have a ton can feel frustrating.

So how did Reddit approach the situation? Many commenters noted Jasmine’s lack of maturity and entitlement and wondered if it was a red flag for the couple’s future.  

“She does not sound like a great partner and lacks basic respect. She basically sounds like a teenager. I feel like you should consider the future of your relationship. In the mean time, I can see why she was hurt about the home comment, but you do not owe her an apology. If she insists on acting like a child then make a sign that says ‘STRICTLY NO INTERRUPTIONS’ for the door when you are on an important call,” advised Danger__fox.

“This sounds like a very imbalanced relationship. I’m all for sahm, gf, wife. Whatever works for your fam. But when the stay at home person is being financially supported its because they’re offering something valuable in the home to the working spouse–childcare, cleaning, supporting partners job in every way that entails, cooking. Once spouse is off work all resumes equally in home, but while they’re working that’s kind of the stay at home persons job,” said Wakeup823.

“I honestly think she is so used to her father paying her rent, she takes it for granted. She does not even think she needs to keep quiet during a WORK call, because I doubt she realises the value of keeping a job and working hard. OP you need to drop her,” said smolperson.

“This isn’t about the rent or whose home it technically is. No matter who pays what, you made a reasonable request and she ignored it and stated that her right to be loud is more important than anything you needed at the moment,” said Icy_Obligation. “This is who she is, someone who is so selfish she can’t see beyond her own desires and so immature she can’t delay gratification for a single phone call. This isn’t about money, although that could be its own topic.” 

“It is her home right now, albeit temporary. Just because it’s a temporary home does not make it any less a home to her. You’re an asshole for saying this is not her home. In the other manner: she is acting like a spoiled child, and this may have been how you realized that you two are incompatible as long-term partners. She needs to be respectful of you and your work, and she’s not. She is an asshole for how she treats you and disrespects you,” explained Christa7615.

How do you read the situation? Is it time for Jasmine to start pulling her weight? Or should the OP have been more sensitive?

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Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.